It's 2019 and I couldn't leave 2018 without a roundup. Take a view in the past if you wish for (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). I can't believe I've done this for 10 years!
Let's do this one a bit differently. Let's rewind.
I actually have news that we have been sitting on for the year but that will come up later.
I went back home for the first few days of December and completed my first race ever on the island. This was important to me because I didn't grow up competing in anything, although I did some sports recreationally. It was great to catch up with John Boyd (who was the one who suggested the race) and reminisce about the past. I did hope St. Croix 70.3 would've been my first half ironman but since it's no longer on the island, I'm curious to see how Beauty and the Beast triathlon succeeds.
Mike and I were able to meet Des Linden and hear her speak before she ran the NYC Marathon. She certainly influenced my perception of racing for the future.
A few days later, I ran NYC Marathon for the 3rd time with instant regret because I didn’t train for it. I won’t say that I didn’t enjoy it but it affirmed that the marathon distance should be respected and tackled with a concrete plan despite the fact that I enjoyed high-fiving kids along the route from Brooklyn to Queens.
I started my new job the day after the marathon. I would not recommend this but certainly made a great impression.
I also joined a master’s swim class with Mike. As extreme as this might sound, a master’s swim class is simply for people who know how to swim who are looking for a coach to improve their techniques. I’m by no means competing at a level that might be considered superior for my weakest discipline.
Later that month, since we were in town for Thanksgiving, I was able to attend my first NFL game. We are used to college games with the Army football team but it was incredible to see the Jets and Patriots play in real life. Despite them being neither Mike or My favorite American football teams, it was quite the experience being in the VIP suites for that game.
I was a guest speaker for She Runs It. I’m fortunate to have met Jennifer who is an ambassador for the organization. She has been so genuine and thought my story was incredible enough to share to her group.
I left my job. I spent 3 years at an agency, where although great, restricted the potential for growth in my profession. I did feel bad that I had to make the decision because my team was incredible. However, in the past years I’ve been more aware of my place in the world as an immigrant and a woman of color and the impact that I can have by speaking up and out. I hope to engage in doing what I can to help others like me in the future.
I was invited to be on a panel by Custom Performance. I am a sponsored athlete by them so I was among a group of amazingly talented runners who shared their experience of running the NYC marathon to give advice. I was so honored by that because the runners were so talented.
I went to AdobeMax for the 6th time. Being an ambassador this year helped me snag a pass. So happy that Adam selected me to go. Although my experience was much different from the other 5 times I’ve went, I was happy to get inspired and it helped the trajectory I have now in my new role for 2019.
My friend Lauren got me a limited edition Robert Crumb print. I have this on my desk now at work.
I also got to run the Army 10 miler with Mike’s family again. I hadn’t raced consistent for awhile so it was a great test to see what my body could do. Apparently, it doesn’t forget.
I did my first half ironman. Although it took 2 attempts. It was 2 attempts of learning experience. I got to swim in open water twice for over 1.2 miles. I swam in a lake and I also got to swim in a bay with 17mph winds of choppiness and survived. I was also able to cover 56 miles on my bike and run a half marathon in completion. I successfully completed 70.3 miles. The furthest I’ve ever raced. It felt amazing.
I also bought a keyboard to teach myself how to play and read music.
My life was changed when I met a disabled woman who had no use of her arms. It made me focus on how important accessibility is in my industry. I have no doubt that I’ll be able to highlight its importance for the rest of my career.
I learned the most horrid way that trolling could occur on the internet. Never underestimate the boredom of anti-social teenagers online.
I donated money for a full surgery for a woman to the Fistula Foundation, a foundation that is forever going to be close to my heart.
Completed the West Point Triathlon with Mike and this might be our annual thing.
I swam 1.6 miles in my gym’s pool. The furthest I had ever done.
We also did the entire Van Cordlant series over the summer where I won a few in my age group but we won together as Team Beard and 'fro in July.
I also designed and programmed the first responsive email to be distributed by my work network.
I wanted to continue celebrating WAKANDA by buying the Black Panther DVD.
I got published by ESPN The Undefeated.
Traveled with Mike to see him race internationally. He completed the Ironman 70.3 in Mont-Tremblant.
Attended Mike’s sister’s graduation at West Point.
I got a bike computer to obsessively train (or bike while I play mobile games)
I started training for the half ironman during this month and realized it was going to take some serious dedication. Nonetheless, I was excited because Mike was doing it with me.
I was a guest for the first time on a podcast.
Did my first panel talk (with Microsoft). I was honored because it was a panel of amazing women.
I had lunch at Twitter.
I took an intense video course from Adobe. It was with Adobe Premiere.
I took my coworker to HR and learned a big lesson about male privilege and how HR really worked. Reflecting on it now I can conclude: Yes, he was a white male who threw a tantrum because of his jealousy. I learned a great deal of having to constantly prove myself and my worth because of men like him over my career. One can only hope that my future is brighter in retrospect. Writing this now, if you're a white person and you're still unsure of whether or not you exude white privilege, take a read of this great article.
Mike and I did decide to see another show off broadway because we didn't have a great first experience this year on datenight.
I took a cooking class with clients at my last agency and realized that in 3 years, it was the first time I had met them face-to-face. When I had that epiphany, I decided to start looking for other job opportunities.
Mike helped me plan my half ironman race.
I ran the new course of the NYC Half.
On the fly, I decided to dedicate 28 days of drawing for Black History Month.
We did Cycle for Survival again, you can donate to us again this year right here.
I also loved that I got to see Black Panther for my birthday when Mike and I decided to go to Saratoga Springs for our birthday.
I learned how to make Momo thanks to Elli.
I took part in the Women's march.
Mike and I did our annual broadway show.
My nephew was born.
What a year!